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7 highly effective ways to elevate buyer trust

Posted by Stuart Walters on August 17, 2020

People are inundated with marketing messages. Rising above the noise is difficult, and gaining the trust of buyers and consumers is even harder. SurveyMonkey conducted a study on purchasing as it relates trust to see just what moves people in one direction or another. Their study quickly established most people think marketing and advertising is designed to try to sell them things they don’t need (60%) rather than help them (40%). And, almost half of people find marketing not so, or not at all trustworthy (43%). But don’t be discouraged. There’s a brilliant light at the end of the customer confidence tunnel...

9% of the respondents said they highly trust brands the first time they engage, and 67% rated their trust as high by the time they return to purchase again. However, 89% said when purchasing from a brand they’ve never purchased from before, they trust the brand at least a little. This is all great news, because it means most of your new customers come to you with at least a small seed of trust that can reach new heights with the right amount of care.

You can have some of the best marketing or product copy around, but their study found that despite your best efforts people trust external voices more. They trust recommendations from their friends and family, customer reviews on third-party sites, and testimonials on your brand site–in that order. Monitoring your customer satisfaction, featuring the voice of your customers in your marketing, and joining conversations about your product or service everywhere they happen are three of the greatest ways to impact confidence in your brand.

The more voices there are to speak about your product or service, the more authentic your rating appears to be. In the study, most people (74%) think a product that has 100 reviews with a 4 star rating is of higher quality than one with just 5 reviews with 5 stars. In fact, an overwhelming majority (82%) trusted the 100 reviews with a 4 star rating more. Implementing the tools and systems that will increase the size of your reviewing audience will better your chances of increasing trust.

Only 33% say a leadership scandal, and less than half say an offensive ad (47%) or a security breach (46%) would cause them to lose trust in a brand. More than any of the above, a product or service that doesn’t live up to its promise has a far greater negative impact on trust. Therefore, collecting People Powered Data™—opinions and voices of your target buyers and customers—to help you close gaps between your promises and their expectations is critical to success.

The SurveyMonkey study revealed all kinds of things would make people lose trust in a brand, but the single greatest negative impact on trust comes from personal experience (86%). But this is good news, because with the right data and follow-up you can resolve issues and continually improve your customer’s experience at scale.

While no brand would take a scandal, data breach, or failure to deliver on experience or promise lightly, it’s rare that all hope is lost. The study found that once someone has had a poor experience with a product or service, few people (5%) say they would “never” purchase from the brand again, but 51% say they want a refund first. Make it right, and you get to try again.

Again the study concurs and found that most people (75%) expect a response within a couple of days when they post a complaint on social media. Addressing complaints in a personalized and timely manner can go a very long way toward not only restoring but also increasing trust with an unhappy customer. As in every relationship, sometimes people just want to be acknowledged.

You can read the full report here: 

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